:: What's New in the World ::
"I hate you."
In The Off Hours
Books :: None currently...
TV :: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, The 4400, Entourage
Anime :: Naruto, Bleach, Gundam SEED Destiny, Sousei no Aquarion
Music :: DHT - Listen to Your Heart
• Annoying Event Staff
• No More Work
• Night Pictures
• Winning at Poker
• No income
• Expensive gear
• Integrating flash and DBs
• Driving long distances
:: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 ::
:: Thursday, March 25, 2004 ::
Well I'm back, though only for a day. Enough time to unpack, do laundry, go to a meeting, pick up maps and books from AAA, clean the pool, burn some DVDs, recharge all the batteries, and repack for Hawaii. New York was awesome but unfortunately I don't have time to write about it now. I guess I'll have to post about it when I get back. Gotta go now and finish getting ready to leave. See everyone in a few more days.
:: posted by Z [9:48 PM]
A Quick Farewell...
:: Monday, March 22, 2004 ::
I know I haven't posted in a while but I've been so caught up with pre-travel preperations and work that I just haven't found the time or energy. I just got to Ted's house and have a few minutes before we retire for the night, so I thought I'd post a quick update. Well it turns out that I didn't quite finish all my work. It's actually a first. Normally I have everything squared away well before my departure. This time, things were just too rushed I suppose. Oh well. Better luck next time to me. I've been running off of caffeine for the last few days, and on the way up I had my usual LA drive combo, namely a newly burned CD and two bottles of caramel cappaccino. Somehow I managed to stay awake the whole way up and not get a ticket, though there were some close calls right at the end.
I was actually suppose to get up to Ted's around 11 but I just couldn't resist watching the entire Lakers Kings game. The Lakers thoroughly trashed the Kings, so already my trip started off well. I just hope I didn't forget anything. Whenever I go anywhere, regardless of how many times I check and then recheck the mental lists of things to take or do, I always have that nagging suspicion that I'm missing something. Oh well, it's too late to do anything about it now. I have my plane ticket and some clothes, that should be more than enough. I don't know if I'll get a chance to post before I come back, so if I don't, see everyone in a few days.
:: posted by Z [12:24 AM]
The Things People Google...
Lately I've had an increase in traffic from search engines. It's strange the queries that bring people to my site. Listed below are a few of the most recent ones:
"nyc dance yumi" - A kind of stalker one, unless there's a club called Yumi in NYC.
"How to Tell Your Friends from" - I wonder how this one ended, but unforutnately it was cut off.
"pictures of vancover night club" - A normal one up in the mix.
"gifted children punishment school" - This one still leaves me boggled. Why would gifted children be punished? And who would be looking for a site in regards to it?
"battlefest pics" - I have no idea how this search linked to my site being that it has nothing to do with battlefest, whatever that is.
A varied assortment of searches to say the least. Oh well. To all the strangers reading, welcome I suppose. Out there on there on the vast world wide web, there are probably worst places to end up than here.
:: posted by Z [8:01 PM]
Manic Mondays and Midnight Mahjong…
:: Friday, March 19, 2004 ::
Ok, it’s official—I hate our vending company and more specifically, our coffee vending machine. There’s only one in our entire building and the damn thing is inoperable half the time. I had to walk across the parking lot to Building 1 this morning just to slake my caffeine addiction. That, top with the seemingly endless, yet somehow managing to grow, pile of tasks I need to accomplish over the next few days, has made this a frantic and manic Monday. My code still doesn’t work properly, so I’ll be spending the majority of the afternoon in lab trying to track down a persistent bug that has thus far, evaded all my attempts to isolate it.
This weekend was chill once again. I figured there was no need to do anything too intensive since I’ll be in New York this upcoming weekend and Hawai’i the next. Might as well preserve what little energy I have these days for the times I’ll most enjoy. I’m still praying for good weather, though the experts at Weather.com predict it’ll be raining on this Thursday when I land. Oh well. The only interesting things I did this weekend were go to a BBQ at my dad’s house to hang out with the in-laws and play mahjong from midnight till 3am on Saturday with my brother and two friends. I hadn’t played in years but still managed to win 4 of 8 games, edging out Jerry in the tie-breaker. Since I haven’t won at poker in quite some time, it was nice to be able to win something.
:: posted by Z [12:31 PM]
Impressing the In-Laws…
:: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 ::
Being that this was my off Friday, I had planned to accomplish a whole host of errands in preparation of all the traveling I’ll be embarking upon in the upcoming weeks, but in vintage fashion, I stayed up till 5am last night. So suffice it to say, I didn’t quite make my 9:30 ideal wake up time. But despite waking up at 11:30 and getting to the barbershop extremely late, I hardly waited to get my hair cut. Unfortunately that was about as productive as I got today. I spent the rest of the time just reading and bumming around the house, being pretty much as unproductive as I could be. Sad I know, but sometimes my off days are really off days.
Anyway, as I sat watching some episodes of Friends, my sister called and told me about a BBQ my dad is going to have tomorrow. It’s a big deal because it’s the first time my parents will get a chance to meet her fiancé’s parents. As it turns out, her fiancé’s mom has a thing for cheesecake, and being that she wants to suitably impress them—she guilt tripped me into making one. I’m not sure which irritates me more, the extremely late notice (it takes a while to make a cheesecake) or the fact that my sister does not have to expend a single once of effort for this except a phone call. Oh well, I suppose there’s no point in complaining now since I’ve already agreed to do it. Just the thought of the mess that will ensue is disheartening. But first I better hit up the gym while all the cold ingredients come to room temperature...
:: posted by Z [8:03 PM]
All in the Family…
:: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 ::
I considered not relaying this story because in all likelihood I’ll catch some flak for it, but what the hell. I figured people have enough ammunition on me to last years and besides, it’s one of the more bizarre things to happen to me in a while. So anyway, last night as I was finishing burning Mitch a copy of Will & Grace Season 1 on DVD, my mom comes in and asks to speak to me and my brother. I was caught off guard because I could hear the seriousness in her voice, something that comes quite easily to her, but also a slight hesitation, something I have rarely—and by that I mean never—heard in my mom’s voice. She’s a person who tends to say what she wants, when she wants, and how she wants which is usually loudly and quickly. Immediately I begin cycling through all the things I had done recently that could elicit any type of retribution, but after a quick perusal of my recent memories, nothing came to mind. So with a sigh of relief, I walked over to my brother’s room—though not without some hesitation of my own.
She began by talking about our family over in Vietnam, and in particular, her sister’s daughter. The tone of her voice conjured up the worse possible scenarios in my head. My first thought was that a relative was dying and needed a kidney or some other body part. I was totally blindsided by what she said next. It turns out that my aunt and uncle want our cousin to come to America, but currently the only option available to them is through marriage. They need someone to marry her for 3 years, for which they’ll be compensated to the sum of $20k. My mom was hoping that either I or my brother would do it because she’d be living with us anyway.
Call me a conservative but my first reaction was “eww,” followed quickly by “no!” She tried to sell me on the fact that it wouldn’t be real but I guess the romantic in me feels that even if it isn’t real, no actually, especially because it isn’t real, that it’s not right. Plus the fact that she’s related by blood is just too weird. I know this kind of practice is quite common for Asians hoping to bring over family members; I’m just not too sure about how often the two involved are actually related. Besides, I told her, I won’t be around for the 3 years anyway. Next year I’ll be on travel for a year. I think that might be hard to explain to the good folks over at the INS. So I’m off the hook but my brother however—not so lucky. I just don’t think his girlfriend would understand—fake marriage or not. Sometimes, it's just too weird being Asian.
:: posted by Z [10:31 PM]
Still New News...
:: Monday, March 15, 2004 ::
Nela IM'd me on Sunday to find out if I was actually going to be quitting my job to travel the world for a year next year. She was the second person to do so in a span of a week. I thought everyone knew but I was obviously mistakened. I guess I just take it for granted that not everyone reads this site, or maybe just doesn't read it frequently. A lot of the time, I'll see someone after a prolonged period of no contact and I’ll begin to fill them in on the happenings of my life when they interrupt me only to inform that they had read about that particular event already on my website yesterday. After a while, I just assumed people were usually up to date on my comings and goings. The problem is there is no real easy to way to know the difference because as I’ve stated many times before, I really have no clue who actually reads this thing. Anyway…
So I took time off during lunch today to go down to the airport and pay for my ticket. So it’s now official, I’m heading back to the Big Apple. I must be crazy but if I am, it’s that good kind of crazy that keeps life interesting. I was excited about Hawai’i but now I will have to save that till after I get back from New York. But until then, there’s still so much to do—I had best get back to it.
:: posted by Z [2:21 PM]
With Friends Like These...
Swim4SPD: so sad
Swim4SPD: I think Don could use one of these
isamu619: i should quote you
isamu619: cuz you know it'll get back to him
Swim4SPD: do it
Swim4SPD: let's see
Swim4SPD: I wont tell him about it
Tsk tsk... when your friends clown on you like this, who needs enemies?
:: posted by Z [2:47 PM]
:: Friday, March 12, 2004 ::
I have exactly 7 working days until my trip to New York—that is if I decide to go. Ted just bought his ticket last night and because he waited until plans could be formalized with his friends in New York, the price of the ticket went up. Now we will have to pay some money out of pocket but at least the flight is non-stop. I should probably decide by today if I can and/or should go. Seven days doesn’t seem that long and I have only begun wrapping up one of the tasks I’m assigned to do before my deadline of April 6th. In fact, I just received an email today giving me an updated tasks list that is longer than the one I previously had. At the moment I’m not sure what I’ll do but I think I should talk to my team lead and gather her opinion on the matter. Maybe our deadline isn’t firm. I can only hope I suppose.
Though this Monday is shaping up to be quite manic as I prepare to scurry back and forth between the buildings of my company, trying for once to get as much done as I can, the weekend was quite chill. There were plans to go to Century Club or Rosaritos but neither option appeared appealing. I had just gone up to LA for Julie’s birthday the previous weekend and considered that one night of clubbing enough for another two months. As for Mexico, I’ve never been a big fan—that opinion dating as far back as high school.
So instead, on Saturday night, I worked out with Steve and his girlfriend, and afterwards we watched 28 Days Later. Overall a good movie, though a bit predictable at times, and one that, unlike a lot of horror movies, actually posed a question and made a point. Then on Sunday, I went to a BBQ at Richard’s place which was also chill. It was good to see everyone that, despite living so close to me, I hadn’t seen in quite some time. I guess that’s just how it is sometimes.
:: posted by Z [9:52 AM]
Weather and Poker…
:: Thursday, March 11, 2004 ::
Well the weather didn’t hold for very long, exactly as was predicted by the good folks at weather.com. But wow, can you believe it; a meteorological assessment that ended up being accurate. Will wonders ever cease? I guess I can’t pack away all those sweaters quite just yet. This weather is also unfortunate for those individuals planning on taking a little excursion down to Rosarito tomorrow. But take heart, it’s suppose to get warmer by Sunday. Ok enough of that…
Last night, like I do most Thursday nights, I played poker with my brother, cousin and friends. Last night’s game was a $10 buy-in, our first in quite some time. Lately all we’ve been playing is $5 buy-ins which I’ve slowly learned to detest for some reasons which I’ll share. The most annoying thing is that when you knock someone out of the game, because the buy-in is so low, they just buy immediately back in. Some people have bought back in 5 times. After knocking someone out that many times, the game just loses some of its fun. I also realized during the game that I hadn’t won in quite some time. I ended up blowing a huge early advantage, but proved pivotal in toppling the chip leader, my cousin Mitch who also happens to be the all time money winner in our group. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday night.
:: posted by Z [2:21 PM]
Coffee and Basketball…
:: Tuesday, March 09, 2004 ::
I’ve been trying without success to kick my chemical dependency on coffee, but for this whole week, despite getting 8 hours of sleep, I still come to work fatigued and mentally exhausted. I don’t feel quite up to speed until I have that first cup of coffee and caffeine is happily coursing through my veins. I’m not sure if it’s due to the string of illnesses I’m finally recovering from, or perhaps from my stepped up work out regimen. Tracy has gone so far as to suggest perhaps its improper breathing during sleep that’s causing my weary woes. If so, I’m not sure what I could do to remedy the problem. I will just have to hope that whatever it is rights itself eventually. For the time being, I’ll just continue to eat right, take vitamins, and get enough sleep, hoping to be back to normal again soon.
Speaking of getting back to normal, if anyone cares, and I’m not sure how many people who read this site would, but the Lakers, barring another injury, will finally have all four of their Hall of Famers back in the starting lineup this Friday for their road game against the Timberwolves. This time of year is always exciting for me, and I’m sure it is for every other basketball enthusiast-that is if their team is still in the playoff hunt-as the top teams jockey for seeding and a right to contend for the championship. In the west especially, this year promises to be one of the most exciting playoffs in recent memory with most teams healthy and with good young teams like the Grizzlies eager to test themselves. Anyway, I’ll end my sports tirade there for those who don’t care.
:: posted by Z [10:45 AM]
An Unexpected Reunion and Travel Insanity...
:: Monday, March 08, 2004 ::
Normally my weekly trip to Starbackulas, or as Chris would say *$$, occurs on Wednesday but yesterday I really needed the boost of caffeine. So I picked up Chris from Building 8, then headed to the Starbucks in Tierra Santa but when we got there it was jam-packed, standing room only. I guess the heat made everyone suddenly crave a frappuccino or something, who knows. Dejected but not yet defeated, we headed south towards Fry’s in search of another Starbucks. Considering there’s a Starbucks on every street corner in SD, well not quite but close enough to it, we didn’t anticipate much difficulty in locating an alternative venue and sure enough, there was another one on Aero Dr waiting for us. It was much smaller than the one we were use to but also much less occupied which is always nice.
While there, who should I happen to run into but Grace Hur, someone I use to kick it with back in 1999 and hadn’t seen in ages. We caught up briefly, me telling her about my upcoming travel plans and her telling me about her upcoming graduation from law school. Ah, it brought back such memories and lack of memories because back in the day, Grace was one of my foremost drinking partners. It was a nice unexpected reunion. The plush chairs at Starbucks were also quite comfy but not quite up to par with the ones at Tierra Santa. The frappuccinos however were levels above what we were accustomed to. We’ll definitely have to go back and discover if it is a consistent event or perhaps just a random fluke.
Then later that night, Ted and I formalized our plans for our second New York trip. I guess Jean is having a birthday event on the weekend of the 26th of March and Ted wants to go back from the 25th to the 30th. But if you consult my Upcoming Events above, you’ll note that I’m schedule to fly to Hawai’i on the 31st. So it turns out, I might go to New York on the 25th or 26th and then come back on the 30th, not even go back to SD but stay in LA, and then fly out the following morning to Hawai’i. Crazy? Probably, but not beyond me. The only real hang up I have with the whole scenario is that I’m on deadline up until the day I leave, integration testing for my project starting on the 6th immediately after my return. So every day earlier I leave is a day less I have to finish up everything. I wonder how it will all turn out.
:: posted by Z [12:08 PM]
A Weekend Report…
:: Thursday, March 04, 2004 ::
Dang, what’s seriously up with the weather? It went from cold to suddenly hot in one day. I woke up Sunday morning at Lan’s place in Chino Hills dehydrated and, wait… actually I’m starting in the wrong place. Let me try this again. So I spent Friday day, despite illness I might add, baking Julie a cheesecake for her birthday. For the special event she had requested a chocolate cheesecake. Now for those who don’t know, I’ve always had a thing against chocolate cheesecakes because they’re just too rich. I feel like I need a glass of milk just to finish a slice. So I decided to flex my baking muscles and try to make my version of a non-rich chocolate cheesecake. Well long story short, actually it’s a short story but it sounds better with that lead in, the cake came out PERFECTO! Not a single solitary crack. w00h00! I really hate cracks.
Anyway, the next day I drove up to Lan’s and finished topping the cake with a layer of strawberry glaze and fresh strawberries (picture to come shortly). Unfortunately the venue we were going to for dinner, Las Palmas, was also the club we would be staying at afterwards and not knowing their policy on bringing in non-establishment food, we decided to play it safe and leave the cake at home. All that work for nothing, so sad. On the way there, we were lagging, as always, and didn’t know if we’d have time for dinner. So my car, which included Lan, Helen and Mat, decided to just hit up Mickey D’s for some nugget and fries. It was definitely a good call.
Once we got to the club and everyone else sat down for dinner, we just chilled at the bar admiring the live jellyfish in the tank above the bar. Overall I had a good time though I didn’t really dance that much. I just wandered around and talked to a bunch of different people all night. Julie had a cousin who was cute but she lives in New York. Why do they always live so far away? The music was supposedly good there but i wasn't paying that much attention. Everyone did notice that there were surprisingly a lot of black people there. I guess we're all really use to all asian events. Anyhow, Julie drank 10 shots, supposedly, and well… let’s just say she was having a hard time remaining vertical by the end of the night. Everyone pretty much passed out on the way back to Lan’s place and so ended our night.
Now we’ve come full circle back to where I started originally. So I woke up Sunday morning at Lan’s place dehydrated and tired. Once again, my hardwired brain woke me up at 9:30 despite going to sleep at around 4. sigh. Oh well. I thought I’d be bored for hours waiting for Lan, who normally sleeps in till noon, and Julie, who normally sleeps in till 1 or 2, but fortunately there was a Rockets Mavericks game on. Then surprisingly, after only a short while, Lan woke up followed later by Julie. We basically just bummed around all day except for a couple of times where we ventured out in search of sustenance. We finally tried the cake around 6 o’clock that night and I must say, though I freely admit a large degree of bias, that the cake was excellent as always. Hehe. Anyway, it was a nice way to end the night before I made the trip back to SD, which didn’t even seem like that long.
:: posted by Z [10:45 AM]
A Canvas of Change...
:: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 ::
Every time I recall the early memories of my childhood, I marvel at exactly how much the world has change during the two and half decades of my life. I’ve always seen the world as a canvas shared by humanity, each subsequent generation receiving its eventual turn to paint over the image as they will. With tiny strokes our ancestors added depth here and light there, refining and redefining the world through their own eyes. Presently, change is no longer so subtle. Now we change the world in brush strokes not only greater in size but in frequency as well, annihilating the past and glossing over it with our own image of the future. Ideas, like colors, clash, conflict, but must coexist.
It is said that change is not only inevitable, it is necessary. No closed system will remain viable for very long. And change is something we have become quite adept at causing, but not at controlling. I wonder where we will eventually go, or perhaps rather where it will all take us. Artificial intelligence, cloning, antimatter, nano-technology. Is there a limit to our ingenuity as a species and should there be? We turn to science for answers to problems that more often than not are caused by science. As an engineer, I begin to wonder if there truly is such a thing as progress, or do we simply swap one problem for another in a seemingly endless game of music chairs praying that the music never stops.
:: posted by Z [3:09 PM]
Rain and Restless Nights…
:: Monday, March 01, 2004 ::
There are days you own and other days you struggle to just endure, striving desperately to survive until the following dawn ushers in a new, and hopefully better, tomorrow. For me, today is one of the latter. Last night, while I battled fits of body aches, chills, and parched throat, I had one of my most restless nights in recent memory. I started awake several times during the night and each time I awoke to the steady, yet uncharacteristic in southern California, sound of rain washing over my roof and beating against my window. Like a cacophony of a thousand tiny snare drums tapping with no discernable pattern or reason, I listened in that state between the dream world and the real world to the rain falling continuously as sleep once again washed over me.
I finally awoke early this morning to utter silence and feeling like I hadn’t slept at all, in fact feeling worse than when I had gone to sleep. Now I’m stuck at work, using every ounce of my willpower, assisted by a steady stream of caffeine, to stay mentally coherent enough to perform the tasks required of me but thinking of only my warm and soft bed at home. It calls to me seductively like a siren, with the promise of sleep and dreams, and I find I have no will or desire to resist. Just a few more short hours I tell myself, like a mantra. If only it was as easily done as said.
:: posted by Z [1:14 PM]
A Rather Long Report…
You know I realized recently that I haven’t been clubbing in SoCal since December. Quite an impressive feat if I do say so myself, and I do. I did, however, go clubbing while in New York but that stemmed more from the novelty of it than any genuine desire to go. Regardless I’ve managed to stay occupied.
On Friday, after finishing up at work I arrived home in time for the Time Warner cable guy to arrive and install our new digital cable service. It turns out the cable company is running some promotion or other for 4 months and getting digital cable would only increase our cable bill by $5. So my mom, with no small amount of coaxing from my brother I assure you, decided to sign up. You know what I’ve always hated about the cable company? The windows of time they give you of when they’ll be there. We were given “from 12 to 6.” I mean honestly, WTF is that? A 6 hour window? In this day and age of instantaneous communication, they can’t get a little more accurate than that? Frankly I find it a little hard to believe. Do they think people have nothing better to do than sit precariously on the edge of their seats, waiting eagerly for hours on end for them to arrive to perform a task that takes twenty some odd minutes? So anyway, my mom had to take the day off in order to wait for the bastards, but by the time they finally came, both my brother and I were home. Oh well. After the setup was complete, I couldn’t help but fiddle around with all the new-fangled options. The coolest thing, Chris can definitely attest to this, are onDemand channels. Basically these channels have a listing of programs you can select to watch at anytime. You can also pause, fast forward and rewind at will. Needless to say, my Friday night was spent enraptured in front of my TV.
Saturday was spent running errands and shopping. I hadn’t meant to buy any new books but I was right next to Barnes and Nobles and couldn’t resist a quick look around to see if anything piqued my interest. I left with a copy of Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, the author of the Da Vinci Code that everyone’s been raving about. I’ve been meaning to read that as well but since it’s not released in paperback yet, I figure I can hold off on it. Besides, it’s sometimes worthwhile to read the preceding books of an author and principle character, not that I don’t have enough to read already but that’s another topic altogether. Afterwards, I headed over to my niece Ashley’s 6th birthday party where I got to be outnumbered by all the females of my generation. Family time is always nice but I couldn’t stay long since I had already made plans with Chris to go riding before my sister told me unexpectedly about the party on Friday night. Besides, listening to all my 20-something cousins talk about their babies and other unmentionables is only tolerable for so long.
So I drove home, geared up, and met up with Chris to go riding. Last time we went riding, several months ago, we headed east and inland so this time we decided to mix things up a bit and head west toward the coast. We took the 56 freeway west until we hit the coast and then headed north along the Pacific Coast Highway. We rode through beautiful downtown Del Mar and up to Solana beach. As we came around one particularly large bluff which hid the light of the late afternoon sun, the landscape suddenly flattened out and opened into a view of crashing waves and the sun, now visible again, rolling along the horizon, its weak light cascading off countless ripples of waves yet to be born upon the shore. That pretty much made my day right there but then we turned around and rode through the hills of Del Mar, all the way past Lake Hodges and some unknown dam, to Escondido. The path was long, windy and picturesque. Lined with countless trees and other foliage, every variation upon the color green seemed present, it made me sincerely regret not bring my camera but I was consoled in the fact that having a camera would have required me to stop. And as I barreled through each turn, leaning into it and accelerating all the while, I realized stopping was the last thing I wanted to do. I ended the night playing one dollar poker games with some friends and then watching the last two episodes of Sex in the City before bed. Now that was a good day.
I spent Sunday morning watching a few episodes of Def Poetry on HBO onDemand and felt inspired, as I always do after listening to poets far superior to myself showcase their work. So look forward to some new prose coming soon! I definitely have to record all the available Def Poetry episodes to VHS while I have the chance. I thought and not for the first time that it was unfortunate that they don’t the series on DVD, but as soon as they do, I will definitely be picking up a copy. Eventually I met up with Jewels, who was down visiting from the bay, and Courtney in La Jolla to bake cookies and watch a movie. And with that my weekend came to its inevitable conclusion, as this entry must now as well.
:: posted by Z [11:24 AM]